Wrestlemania weekend has come and gone with three major WWE shows including “NXT Takeover: Dallas”, “Wrestlemania XXXII” and “Monday Night Raw”. I’m sure you’ve heard about the attendance record, Roman Reigns winning the title (insert your massive booing, slightly more moderate booing or polite cheering here) and AJ Styles becoming #1 contender by this point because they’ve been talked about quite a bit. Therefore today we’re going to take a look at some stories that have fallen through the cracks a little bit but still deserve attention.
These are in no particular order.
Unfortunately neither of these guys appeared on “Monday Night Raw”, though they were both on the “Superstars” taping before the show. That and the fact that they were on the pre-show doesn’t exactly instill me with confidence about either of their futures, or the importance of the title at this point. Someone eventually destroying Kalisto for the title will be a good moment but the title is hardly in a good place at the moment.
Jumping ahead to “Monday Night Raw”, we saw a debut and the announcement of another debut with Apollo Crews having a match on the show and the Vaudevillains being announced for their main roster debut on this week’s episode of “Smackdown.” These are three more names that NXT is going to lose but how sure can we be that this is a good thing for all of them?
Consider Tyler Breeze, who debuted back on the main roster in November. After all those months of looking awesome on NXT and going from a goofy character to one of the hardest working and reliable performers on the roster. However, it seems that none of that matters because now Breeze is jobbing to Crews in about two minutes on “Monday Night Raw” in one of his many losses in recent months.
How do we know that’s not going to happen to Crews and/or the Vaudevillains? Crews is an athletic freak who looks like a few million bucks and the Vaudevillains have a very unique gimmick and can work well enough in the ring. How do you know that these guys are going to actually have a chance on the main roster? It’s very possible that they’re going to be treated just like Breeze or the Ascension, who debuted a little over a year ago and were almost immediately turned into the jobbers of the tag division.
What makes it even more interesting is how different these two acts are. The Vaudevillains won and lost the NXT Tag Team Titles and then seemed to fall down the card. It feels like they’re being brought up for the sake of bringing them up because there’s nothing left for them to do in NXT. Therefore, let’s call them up to the main roster and see what can be achieved. I get the idea, but these two really seem destined to go nowhere on the top level as they weren’t the best team down in developmental anyway.
On the other hand you have Crews, where the sky seems to be the limit. He’s an athletic beast but at the same time he really can’t talk and has almost no personality. I’m sure there are ways to make that better, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to DEVELOP him down in DEVELOPMENTAL? Then again, look back at Breeze. It’s fairly clear that there’s little that can be done in developmental that is going to change your status on the main roster. Either you have it or you don’t and it’s clear that WWE sees something in Crews. This isn’t meant as a knock on him or anything but I was surprised by the fast call up.
In addition to those names (plus Enzo and Cass) leaving NXT, Sami Zayn said goodbye this past week at “NXT Takeover: Dallas”. Losing to Shinsuke Nakamura in Nakamura’s debut wasn’t the point because it was pretty clear that Zayn was gone to the main roster for good after this. What matters is all the hard work and effort that Zayn has put into NXT over the last few years to make it feel all the more special.
Zayn has been called the heart and soul of NXT and that’s really hard to dispute. Back in 2014, Zayn’s Road to Redemption and subsequent title win was arguably the most entertaining and best told story that NXT ever produced while also giving us one of NXT’s best matches ever. I thought it was the Match of the Year in 2014 and there’s a chance that Zayn vs. Nakamura is going to be the Match of the Year in 2016.
It’s going to be impossible to replace Zayn but it’s going to be fun to see NXT try. They both benefited at such a high level from Zayn’s time there and it’s going to be fun to see Zayn thrive on the main roster. Losing Zayn is a major blow to NXT but at the end of the day, going to the main roster is the point of being down in NXT, no matter how hard it is to say goodbye.
With one more quick NXT story, Finn Balor successfully defended the NXT Title against Samoa Joe. This brings up a very simple question: who is next for Balor and the title? He’s rapidly running out of opponents as Corbin is on the main roster, Nakamura probably hasn’t established himself enough and Joe has been vanquished. It should be interesting to see who NXT has in line for the title but Balor is at such a high level right now that it doesn’t matter who he’s in there against because it’s going to work.
That leaves us with one more story and it’s on the main roster. While it’s not entirely confirmed, it seemed that the Wyatt Family turned face on “Monday Night Raw”. This has been teased for the better part of a year but until The Rock spoke to them at “Wrestlemania XXXII”, it really hadn’t been talked about on WWE TV. That all changed on Monday when the Family attacked the League of Nations and seemingly became good guys for the first time ever.
I’m really not sure what to say about this but the possibilities here are very interesting. Above all else, this might actually lead to Bray Wyatt winning a big match instead of losing over and over and over again for a change. I mean of course it’s likely to lead to much more of the same things that have plagued the Wyatts for years now but at least this is something new for a change.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re going to have a lot to talk about for a long time to come after this weekend but that doesn’t mean it all has to be about the top stories. There’s a lot of fun stuff going on in the world of WWE (and wrestling in general) and so much of it could move forward to some interesting conclusions. Just don’t get so caught up in the big news and see what else is going on that might get your attention.
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